Liverpool’s win at Riverside to kick-start title challenge
Liverpool got their title challenge back on track with a much expected win against Middlesbrough. A 3-0 win at the Riverside is an impressive result and something that should make Klopp pleased with considering the bold move he made before the start of the game.
Some called the decision to remove Karius from the starting line up a gamble, some would have agreed. But the decision clearly didn’t phase the one person that really that really counted – Mignolet. Who had a great display and showed the extra maturity that has been missing from even his game. Strong in the air, superb decision making and commanding his penalty area. Karius can certainly learn from that – if a similar spell on the touchline is given to him he shoudl really take note of the attitude required to succeed.
- Middlesbrough 0-3 Liverpool
- Liverpool’s first Premier League win at the Riverside Stadium since March 2002
- Seven away games at Riverside without victory.
- Adam Lallana (29′ minutes, 68′ minutes), scored twice and created another goal to give Liverpool their most emphatic away Premier League win of the season.
- Divock Origi (60′ minutes) now scored 5 goals in as many games
- Reds were best we’ve faced – Aitor Karanka
- Adam Lallana’s fifth goal of the season gave Liverpool the lead.
Jurgen Klopp addressed journalists at his post-match press conference, where he answered questions on his side’s emphatic performance and his decision to start Simon Mignolet over Loris Karius, and also offered an update on Origi, who appeared to pick up a knock towards the end of the game.
Adam Lallana’s brace with goals either side of Origi’s 5th goal in as many games ensured it was a positive reply after the disappointing games against Bournemouth and West Ham. Taking three points back to Anfield on a night where everyone else in contention also picked up maximum points. The Reds arrived at the Riverside Stadium having taken just one point from their past two matches.
It was another game where Adam Lallana ‘arrived’, he was simply phenomenal. Demonstrating why he is not only Southgate’s most creative player but more frequently Klopp’s too.
Lallana headed home Nathaniel Clyne’s cross before the break after some really great effective play. We are used to watching Liverpool’s full throttle, heavy metal attacking – however we are also now used to us watching a decent lead get thrown away.
The first half was all about control. Control the ball and tempo, allowing Middlesbrough to keep possession often with 10 players behind the ball. Liverpool just waiting for key moments to inject pace into attacks with devastating effect.
The second half started off going for the jugular – strike and kill the game off before it gets going.
Initially it appeared Mane hadn’t read the memo with several wasted opportunities. Lallana however was as clinical as ever, first crossing slickly for Divock Origi to prod home a fine team goal, then side-footing in a pass from the Belgium striker for the third.
The one-touch slick interchange play between Mané, Wijnaldum, Lallana and Origi for the second goal epitomised all that was good about Liverpool.
Ragnar Klavan was a great replacement for Joel Matip, working well alongside Dejan Lovren. So well infact that Mignolet was just a spectator at times.
Adam Lallana was Liverpool’s creative spark and his two goals rounded off a superb man of the match individual display. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “We had moments in the first half where we were static and even I was confused. We did much better second half, we could have finished more often.”
Lallana has now been involved in 12 goals this season, scoring six and making six – a healthy improvement on the 10 he was involved in across 30 appearances in 2015-16.
“Adam Lallana is improving even when he doesn’t score, but it’s nice he’s in that situation. About a year ago I had sat him in the office and I was happy with him but he was like ‘I’m not scoring’ – and I said he wasn’t in the right positions. Tonight he was twice in the right position and it was wonderful.”
Liverpool picked up their first Premier League win at the Riverside Stadium since March 2002. Ending a run of seven trips there without victory, enough to move Liverpool into second.
Liverpool have scored 40 goals in the league after 16 matches. The last time they did that they won the title in 1978-79. Our only downside at the moment is the about of goals conceded.